TV ReviewsThe Rookie Season 1 Episode 14: Plain Clothes Day Review

For our review of the last episode of The Rookie, click here.

Synopsis: The rookies are really put to the test when their training officers accompany them out of uniform for Plain Clothes Day, which forces them to make all the decisions while on patrol. Meanwhile, Officer Nolan tries to prove he has been progressing faster than the other rookies to justify his desire of becoming a detective within five years. (ABC)

Writer: Terence Paul Winter

Director: Mike Goi

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 43mins

Airs: Tuesdays at 10pm on CTV (Canada)/ABC (United States)

“Plain Clothes Day” starts off with Nolan and Bishop dealing with a road accident involving a helicopter that turns out to be a robber. Two birds. The three rookies are congratulated for 100 shifts and their next step is Plain Clothes Day. Their TOs will shadow them, but will not assist or advise for the remainder of the day. This is the big time, they finally get to call the shots. The TOs try to trip them up, but West knows protocol and helps stop the first mistake. Bishop runs into Detective Wolfe who questions why she dropped out and never submitted her application. She felt like she needed to continue her work on patrol and they share a moment of solace before he thanks her.

Chen makes her first mistake by getting into the passenger side of the car and Bradford takes note. He hands her an envelope with his already finished evaluation. As she’s driving, she notices a man filming someone inside their house. She drives after him, knocks him down with her door and arrests the peeping Tom Todd Collins. Chen learns her suspect has quite the wrap sheet and brings the news over to Bradford, but he doesn’t react.

After bringing him in, Chen opens the envelope that is just another test from Bradford. He reminds her that she didn’t grab all of Collin’s belongings as a sex offender’s van is a treasure trove of open cases. They race back to the scene, but the vehicle is nowhere to be found. Bradford explains he had the car impounded, but Chen needs to be more aware of her surroundings.

Chen responds to another call where a neighbour is complaining about her neighbour’s dog. Turns out her neighbour is extremely abusive to his pet causing Chen to threaten the man to test her. Back at the precinct, Chen is called in by Grey who explains that the man issued a formal complaint towards her. As a probationary officer, this offense could be the end of the line for Chen.

Bradford makes the call to go by the disgruntled man’s place, but he threatens a harassment complaint against him as well. He returns to the car, but Chen sees the dog pawing at something suspicious. It could be blood or it could be nothing, if she’s wrong the harassment claim could escalate to a firing. She makes the call to investigate and they head to the backdoor. They open the garage to find the neighbor stabbed by her garden shears prompting Chen to arrest him.

Nolan goes about his patrol chatting it up with a forcibly mute Bishop. He talks about his ambitions for homicide detective and proving everyone wrong. Nolan responds to a disturbance where two men are beating up another. He races in and is tackled by one who reaches for his gun. Bishop gets wary, but Nolan is able to subdue and apprehend the man before searching for and arresting the other. He returns to find the first man has escaped because Bishop is supposed to be a ghost and therefore couldn’t supervise him.

In the car, Bishop tells Nolan to stop aiming high to focus on what’s in front of him. Thankfully the man was injured and they are able to catch up to him easily. Nolan and Bishop butt heads over which style of patrol they believe is better. Nolan finds a suspect at a local motel and sets up a sting with other officers to breach the room. However, when they enter they learn the suspect sold his car to a new mother making for quite the mix-up.

As they leave the motel, Nolan is approached about a woman asking a lot of questions about identity theft. He leaves her a card and informs Bishop that he called local police to pick up their suspect closing the case. At lunch, Bishop talks to Bradford about their rookies before seeing Wolfe outside. She is concerned about him and decides to strike up a conversation. He regrets the way the day went because of what happened to his partner, but Bishop tells him to not worry. He walks over to Nolan and gifts him an arrest warrant to make amends with Bishop.

En route, another call comes in, but Nolan decides to stay on the current case. They arrive at the scene where they learn the suspect is the woman who asked Nolan for help earlier at the motel. They learn she is in an abusive relationship and the precinct has put out a warrant for her husband’s arrest. Bishop and Nolan arrive at his last known location. They find her tied up in a transport truck being tortured by him. Bishop sneaks out to the front to jolt the vehicle forward enough to disorient the man. They manage to tackle him to the ground, arrest him and free the woman.

West is excited for his Plain Clothes Day, but Lopez knows it’s just his desire to beat his dad’s records. Things get off to a rocky start when his cruiser won’t start. When the vehicle is finally ready, Detective Wolfe swings by and grabs West to catalog his case files. West complains to Lopez about missing out on Plain Clothes Day, but she tells him that the job is unpredictable.

With Wolfe out, West has to deal with a widower asking for her husband’s belongings back. He sticks to protocol and turns the woman away. West feels terrible for his choice and Lopez is visibly upset too. West brings the woman back and gives her a watch in evidence that he finds a loophole to give her. While West wasn’t able to break his father’s records, he is happy with how his day went.

At the end of the day, Bradford gives Chen her evaluation which talks about her second guessing everything. He says it’s unfortunate that he has to rewrite it because she proved him wrong. She’s called into the Captain’s office where she is looked down upon for her remarks, but the captain vouched for her. Nolan apologizes to Bishop for not being more aware of the situation, but Bishop tells him to stop worrying. He isn’t like the other rookies so don’t act like it. He has empathy, experience and it will get him to that detective position.

Captain’s Log

  • Will Nolan and Chen get back together at some point?
  • How long will Lopez and Wesley last?
  • Will West start dating the nurse?
  • Which rookie won’t make it the year?
  • Will Wolfe and Bishop become a thing?
  • Does Nolan have what it takes to become detective?

Overall, Plain Clothes Day was a great episode. With the rookies hitting the 100 shift mark, they are given the opportunity to prove themselves and are thrown into situations out of their comfort zones. By making all the shots, the rookies are able to speak freely about their aspirations for their careers. It also lets them show how unprepared they are to work alone. With the rookies now surviving one of the biggest obstacles of their first year on the job, what else is in store for them.

Score: 9/10

What did you think of “Plain Clothes Day”? Let me know in the comments below!

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